In Which Some Lawyers Are Suckers at Best [Updated]
Dear _, We are pleased to officially inform you that you have been chosen to receive this year’s prestigious TOP 10 Attorney Award for the state of Texas. Through a multi-phase selection process, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDA) has chosen you to receive our organization’s highest honor because of the hard work and dedication you have shown in protecting the rights of the accused. …
The letter, signed by “Kelly D. Kerr, Executive Director,” ((Kelly’s signature does not look practiced. I wonder whether it is fake.)) was sent to a friend of mine by the “National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Inc.”, with a mailing address of 1629 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20006 and a phone number of (202) 827-9985.
Googling that phone number turns up:
National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Inc.;
National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, Inc.;
National Academy of DUI Attorneys, Inc.;
National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, Inc.; and even
National Academy for Dental Professionals, Inc.
A little poking reveals that the registered agent for these five Oklahoma corporations, and for National Academy of Bankruptcy Attorneys, Inc., is either lawyer Ken D. Kerr, Jr. (DUI) ((Ken D. Kerr? Kelly D. Kerr? What a coincidence!)) or Shannon Rich (all the rest), both of Oklahoma City. These folks have come up with a way to extract money from pathetic lawyers desperate for validation.
The price for a Top 10 Attorney Award for the state of Texas is $350—it’s gone up since Matt Brown was chosen in Arizona last year. ((Matt’s letter was signed by Shannon Rich.)) And speaking of bloggers, Murray Newman is listed by this Oklahoma corporation as one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas! Congratulations, Murray.
You’ll notice that the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Inc. website only shows ten lawyers in Texas; I wonder what they’ll do if more than ten suckers send in their checks—perhaps break the states with more than ten top ten lawyers down into areas, as “The National Trial Lawyers” of Dothan, Alabama has done, and break down the “Naitonal” “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by state, practice type (civil? criminal?) and even part of the state (North New Jersey? South New Jersey?). If the 40% price increase over the last year is any indication, Rich and Kerr will keep raising their rates until exactly ten lawyers are willing to pay.
I said “suckers” because paying $350 or even $250 for a fake honor (most of the lawyers on the top-10 list are smart enough to know that they’re not among the top 10 criminal-defense lawyers in Texas) is a sucker play.
It’s a sucker play unless you take advantage of it—knowing that you’re not legitimately among the top 10 criminal-defense lawyers in Texas, you pay the $250 or $350 and then advertise the fake honor. Paying $250 for the right to use the keywords “top 10,” when you know they don’t really apply? That’s something else entirely.
On his website trumpeting his selection, my friend ND ((I picked on ND, rather than Carmen, Grant, Murray, or Todd, because he was trumpeting this horseshit, but apparently he isn’t anymore.)) parrots NACDA:
The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys uses a thorough selection process to determine the top criminal defense attorneys in each state. With thousands of attorneys in each state, the NACDA’s rigorous, independent selection process resolves the challenge of attorneys claiming to be “the best” without basis for such claims.
Look at this list, ND, and tell me that’s not a lie.
[Update: Murray didn’t pay for the honor. It’s strange that even when they include people who don’t pay, the Oklahoma corporation can only find nine lawyers to list in the top ten in Texas.]
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